The Art of Embracing Failure

Be prepared and embrace failure.

Whether you’re starting a new business, applying for a new job, learning a new hobby or pursuing anything new in life, be prepared to fail. It’s rare to start something new in life and not fail at least once. On average, an entrepreneur fails three times before they get their business right. You’re going to fail and that’s okay – embrace failure.

Failure is a learning opportunity. It affords you the chance to experiment, test out different ideas you have, figure out what works and what doesn’t work, then pursue your goal once you find the right formula for you. The more you fail, the more you learn.

Here’s a few historic failures for you to reflect on:

  • When Walt Disney was 22 years old, he was told he lacked creativity.
  • Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 times before getting the electric light bulb to work. When asked how he did it, he said he found over 10,000 ways an electric light bulk will not work.
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times before receiving his huge break.
  • The owner of FedEx, Fred Smith, was told his business idea was interesting, but was in no way feasible by multiple business professionals.
  • Colonel Sanders was 56 years old when he started KFC, proving it’s never too late to start a business. His recipe was rejected over 1,000 times before a restaurant picked it up.
  • Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky script was rejected over 1,500 times before United Artists offered him $125,000 for it, but only if he didn’t star in the movie. Sylvester Stallone refused United Artists’ offers several times, finally compromising with them: they would pay him $35,000, he would star in the movie and they would also pay him a percentage of the profits as a concession. He accepted. Rocky grossed over $200,000,000 and the sequels grossed over a billion dollars.
  • Before gaining success with Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford founded two previous automotive companies that failed. At the time of his death, Ford’s estimated net worth was $188 billion.

Take one from these historic figures. Do not give up on your ideas. When you fail or meet resistance, change your perspective on the situation. Embrace failure. Use it as a tool, as a position of power to figure out what doesn’t work and what does. Then turn your dreams into a reality. 

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